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Six-week abortion ban temporarily blocked

Abortion rights supporters protest at the Statehouse.
Ohio Public Radio

A surprise ruling by a Hamilton County judge has put Ohio’s six-week abortion ban on hold.

On this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss how the Ohio constitution is being used to protect abortion rights.

New Ohio polls

A poll conducted by Suffolk University and sponsored by the USA Today Ohio Network shows Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance tied in the race to replace Rob Portman in the U.S Senate. Technically Ryan, a Democrat, has a one-point lead — 47% to 46% — but that's within the margin of error.

Ryan’s unfavorable rating is 27% while the Republican Vance's is 43% in the results.  

The poll shows the race for governor is not close. Mike Dewine has a 15-point lead over former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. But the good news for Whaley is that 68% of Ohioans oppose the "heartbeat law" that DeWine signed into law and 68% also believe that the state government is corrupt.

Whaley will have to work hard to get more name recognition, 28% of surveyed voters have never heard of her.

Abortion ban on hold

Hamilton Common Pleas Court Judge Christian Jenkins ruled this week the Ohio Constitution protects Ohioans' right to an abortion and put a hold on Ohio’s ban on abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, which is as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

Judge Jenkins wrote, "No great stretch is required to find that Ohio law recognizes a fundamental right to privacy, procreation, bodily integrity and freedom of choice in health care decision making."

The ruling allows abortion clinics in Ohio to perform abortions on women up to 20 weeks into their pregnancies for 14 days.

The basis of this ruling was a constitutional amendment pushed by Republicans who wanted to block parts of Obamacare. The amendment put on the ballot by lawmakers and approved by voters says :

No federal state or local law or rule shall prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance.

No federal state or local law or rule say impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance. 

The judge ruled the amendment contains a direct recognition of the fundamental nature of the right to freedom in health care decisions.

If you have a suggestion for our Snollygoster of the Week award, a question or a comment, send them to snollygoster@wosu.org.